THE FIRST ZOE'S COMPANION
VACATION IN ITALY
May of 1981 our friends delivered to us a male pup, Dilbas, selected by
my mother from the breeder Rade Boskovic.
was overwhelmed to have someone to play with.
got along perfect. Male puppy was strong and had a voracious appetite. Our
professional obligations were numerous and engaging; we needed some rest,
badly. However, the question arose where to go with two puppies? This was
decided to accept the invitation of my family in Italy. My aunt had a villa,
on the hills surrounding Lake Garda. In addition, there existed all installations
for the dogs, a beautiful large fenced-in area in the shade, in a pine-wood
housing a shelter. My parents decided to join us.
trip was uneventful. It instantly became obvious that our dogs did not at
all like to stay in the fenced-in area. Every time we passed by, they would
look at us like two "lost souls" and we always felt sorry for them; we would
thus let them loose. They roamed happily on the estate, which was partially
a vineyard, and in part an orchard. However, the estate was not properly
fenced-in for dogs, so that someone had to constantly keep a watch and take
care of the dogs.
As soon as we turned our backs, they would disappear, Zoé in the lead, and
Dilbas following. Every time this happened, I would shiver with anxiety
knowing of the nearby road full of traffic. Twice, the dogs simply disappeared.
Despite our calls, they could have been neither heard nor seen. On the first
occasion, we found them pretty far away, in a vineyard we visited once before
as we took a walk. Zoe was aiming at the field rabbits, while Dilbas stood
a little further away, in a creek. The water reached up to his belly; he
stood right in the middle of the creek trying to cool off. This obviously
felt very good. On the second occasion, we again called, but to no avail.
By accident I glanced into the garden of the neighboring villa, on the hill
right below our house. I noticed Zoe and Dilbas making the company to the
gardener. They could not care less about us. We, nevertheless, managed to
see some of the historic attractions during our vacation. The lake is beautiful
and large; even more beautiful are the resorts lining its shores. We visited
Lazise, the town closest to our villa, then little towns Garda, Sirmione,
and Torri del Benaco.
On occasion we would visit Verona to walk its old streets, the town of Romeo
and Juliet. After Rome, this town has the greatest wealth of the old monuments,
very significant and also well preserved. The Arena, picturesque banks of
Adidza, the bridges-Scaligero and Pietra,
Cathedral, basilica St. Zeno, Piaza delle Erbe), palace Maffei,
Scaligere designed in a perfect gothic style, a wealth of magnificent landmarks
immortalized in our movies. We enjoyed walking the old streets, looking
at the shop windows and shopping in the elegant boutiques, eating the Italian
specialties, and of course, the Italian ice-cream, drinking Bardolino, the
famous regional vine, and finishing it all off with the aromatic "espresso".
stayed with our family, and got to know the beautiful children of my cousin.
The full house of adults and children helped in socialization of our young